Airbnb sues Santa Monica over ordinance banning short-term rentals

Lawsuit invokes the First and Fourth Amendments over privacy infringement

Sep.September 06, 2016 09:30 AM

Airbnb is finally pushing back against Santa Monica’s ban on short-term rentals more than a year after the ban was first passed.

The short-term stay website filed a lawsuit Friday against the city of Santa Monica, alleging the ordinance violates the First and Fourth Amendments rights of its hosts on the basis of privacy infringements, the L.A. Times reported.

Under Santa Monica’s 2015 ordinance, hosts are required to post their business licenses online and rental websites are forced to turn over their data when probed.

Airbnb may in fact have a case, according to Eric Goldman, a law professor at Santa Clara University.

“They’re trying to hold the website accountable for what their [hosts] are doing,” he told the Times. That’s against federal law.

Santa Monica is the third city Airbnb has sued this summer. It’s also gone up against its hometown of San Francisco and Anaheim over their versions of essentially the same provision. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen

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